House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.


Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.


Kyle Seeback Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, $1.3 trillion is where Canada's national debt is now. It is more than double what it was a few years earlier. The Liberal government has more than doubled all the debt that every prime minister in the history of this country has ever accumulated. What has that led to? It has led to the inflationary crisis, the cost of living crisis and a whole host of other issues.

I know what my colleagues in the Liberal Party will say. They will say that they spent this money during the pandemic because they wanted to take care of Canadians. However, there is a small problem in that. It is very clear that 40% of that spending had nothing to do with the pandemic, and they cannot get out of it. This is clear and unequivocal, so they cannot say that they spent all of this money just because of that.

The “arrive can't” app is a great illustration of exactly the kind of spending this government engages in over and over again. It throws money at things without a care or concern for taxpayers. Whether the money is well spent or not, it is just going to spend.

When we look at where we are right now, the Prime Minister said very clearly many times that we took on this debt so that Canadians would not have to, and interest rates would be low for a very long time, so it is not going to affect the fiscal capacity of this country. Well, guess what. He is wrong. I know that is not a surprise, as he is wrong about a lot things. He is also wrong to not think about monetary policy.

When we talk about where Canadians are today, they have massive credit card debt. Actually, right now Canadians have $171 billion of HELOC debt. What is HELOC debt, and why does that matter? HELOC debt is a home equity line of credit, and they are at variable interest rates. Therefore, as interest rates rise, their payments rise, and the ability for Canadian families to make ends meet declines. What we end up with are all the challenges Canadians are experiencing right now, whether it is making ends meet, heating their home, or dealing with the cost of living and inflation.

The Liberal spending binge has caused untoward damage for Canadians, and there has been an other effect as interest rates have risen. The Prime Minister said, in effect, for Canadians not to worry. He said that interest rates were not going to go up, so when we borrowed all of this money, everything would be fine. There was nothing to see there.

Well, guess what. We now spend more money servicing the debt in Canada than we do on the Canada health transfer. I will let that sink in for a minute. When we hear about the issues that are going on in hospitals across the country, and we hear about it all the time, we are spending more to pay interest on the debt than we are on the Canada health transfer. That is the shameful, embarrassing legacy of this government.

Then the government does things like spend $54 million on the “arrive can't” app. Why do I say the “arrive can't” app? It is because it does not work. We know that it does not work. Ten thousand Canadians were put into quarantine wrongly, and I was one of those 10,000 Canadians. I returned home. I was vaccinated. I got my green stamp on my passport, and guess what. The phone calls started the next day telling me I was to be in quarantine.

I said, “No I am not. I am vaccinated. I have done every thing right, and I was told that I was cleared at the border.”

The phone calls kept coming. Sometimes there were 15 phone calls a day to verify that I was at home. I am a big boy. I can take it. I dealt with it. Imagine older or vulnerable Canadians going through that. They would not just say that it is nothing to worry about. They are going to be incredibly traumatized by that experience. When I talk about the “arrive can't” app, that is a great example.

If that were the end of the story, it might have been terrible but not terrible. When I finally did get in touch with someone to speak with someone, the advice was, “Don't answer the phone. We can't take you off the list. It's impossible.” We have more than double the national debt and people have been wrongly put into quarantine and the answer is, “Don't answer your phone.” The phone just keeps ringing 15 to 20 times a day.

I had the real concern that at some point they might say they have to send a police officer, because that happened as well. Imagine the waste of resources across the country as a result of police officers going to enforce quarantine orders because the “arrive can't” app could not do the one thing it was supposed to do.

They might say not to worry because it is fixed and it is all good, that the “arrive can't” app is now fine, but guess what? On Twitter just yesterday, someone we all might know, Robert Fife reported long lineups at Pearson to get through customs. The $54-million “arrive can't” app is supposed to expedite processing through customs but the officer laughed and said the app is irrelevant so not to waste time filling it out.

We have an app that does not work. We have an app that puts people into quarantine when they should not be in quarantine. We have people then subjected to dozens of phone calls, virtually harassing them to be in quarantine when they should not. It does not work and it cost $54 million. What we have heard since then very clearly is that this could have been done for $80,000. If that was the end of the story, that would be bad enough, of course, but it is not. The story just keeps going. There are contractors and subcontractors who are listed as having been paid for the app. They said, “We did not get paid. Why are we on this list?”

I cannot explain properly how terrible that is for Canadian taxpayers, Canadians who are suffering through an affordability crisis, to see the cavalier and callous spending of their hard-earned tax dollars by the Liberal government. The Liberal government does not apologize. It would be one thing if the Liberals got up and said, “We messed up. Canadians, we're sorry. We know this thing was a thousand times more expensive than it should have been. We've learned our lesson. We're going to fix it,” but they do not. Liberals just ask us, “What is wrong with you? How dare you criticize this. This app was designed to save Canadians. You did not want to save Canadians.” The kind of hyperbole the Liberals are engaging in quite frankly is shameful. They should be apologizing to Canadians for this absolute debacle. Of course, we know they will not.

Now we get to the gist of this motion, which is to have the Auditor General come in and audit this. Let us get to the bottom of it. If the Liberals cared about Canadians, if they cared about taxpayer money, if they know they did not do anything wrong, they would say, “Fantastic. Let us have the Auditor General come in.” We have to remember that it was the Prime Minister who said “We will be open by default.” To have the Auditor General look at this program, the Liberals will say, “We are not going to do that.”

That is an interesting definition of open by default. It is the kind of behaviour that the government has repeatedly engaged in. I ask myself and I ask Canadians who are watching today, what do the Liberals have to hide? Why are they afraid of an independent officer of Parliament coming in and looking at the books?

The Liberals say there is a committee and the committee could look at it. Sure. The Auditor General has far greater ability than the committee to analyze this. I go back to what are the Liberals afraid of. They are afraid of exactly that. The Liberals know they cannot filibuster the Auditor General. They know they cannot win votes to not have documents released at committee with the Auditor General. The Liberals know the Auditor General would get in there and find every embarrassing gaffe, every contract and subcontract that should never have been awarded, and it is going to be an absolutely awful day for the government.

The Liberals will stand up and argue all kinds of semantics, that we do not need to look at this, that they would have a committee look at it, or that we should not look at it because it was designed to save Canadians' lives and therefore it should be above scrutiny. None of this makes sense. When there is nothing to hide, the government should be open by default. That is the mantra of the Prime Minister who leads the government.

I do not understand why we are here. Why are we debating this motion? It should have passed with unanimous consent. After the Conservative leader rose to give an impassioned speech about this, with a unanimous consent motion, the Auditor General would have been looking at this, and we would have the answer in no time.

Instead, the Liberals are going to try to delay. They are going to try to find a way to win this vote in the House of Commons. Maybe they will be able to do that as part of their coalition. Maybe they will make some kind of an amendment to the costly coalition agreement, so they can survive scrutiny from the independent officer of Parliament.

Actions speak louder than words. The Liberals' actions in not just saying that we are going to have the Auditor General look into this speaks volumes about what they know the Auditor General is going to find how terribly run this program was, and how embarrassing it is going to be for the government.

Why will the Liberals not just vote in favour of it? Let us have the Auditor General look into the dirty dealings of this contract.

Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

It being 5:14 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the motion be carried, or carried on division, or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha.

Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.


Michelle Ferreri Conservative Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, November 2, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.


Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I would like to attempt time travel. I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to see the clock at 5:30 p.m.

Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Is it agreed?

Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members


Opposition Motion—ArriveCAN Application Performance AuditBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

The House resumed from October 4 consideration of the motion that Bill S‑227, An Act to establish Food Day in Canada, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

November 1st, 2022 / 5:15 p.m.


Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to this bill. I would like to announce at the outset that the Bloc Québécois agrees that the first Monday in August should be designated food day in Canada.

There are a lot of interesting things in the bill's preamble. I think they are worth mentioning. First, it says that sovereignty is dependent on the safety and security of our food supply. It is important to keep that in mind. If we cannot feed ourselves, we cannot defend ourselves and survive.

It also states that strengthening connections from farms to tables of Canadian cuisine contributes to our nation's social, environmental and economic well-being. The closer we can bring production to the consumer, the more we will reduce the environmental impact. This cannot be done for everything, and we are not talking about extreme measures here, but it must be done as much as possible.

The next point, support for local farmers, is music to my ears. We have to provide adequate support to the people who feed us. We cannot expect them to cope with the vagaries of annual production alone. Just a few minutes ago, I was talking to a farmer who explained to me that all the extra precipitation this spring had a devastating impact on the entire season; it was so long ago that people have forgotten. Farmers had to redo their drainage to prevent future flooding. There may be years when there is not enough water. That kind of instability and unpredictability are reason enough for us to take good care of our people.

The last part of the preamble states that the people of Canada will benefit from a food day in Canada to celebrate local food. That sounds great to me. As I said, we support the bill.

In any conversation about agriculture and agri-food, food sovereignty is bound to come up. We hear that expression a lot. It is a bit overworked and gives people the impression that we are trying to be entirely self-sufficient. That is not the idea. It might be better to talk about food resiliency than food sovereignty. The idea is to ensure that we can feed our population and that farming remains a viable occupation going forward. That involves a number of factors.

I will start with temporary foreign workers. Everyone knows that our agricultural production is now dependent on this essential and valuable workforce. It is also a great way to redistribute wealth around the world. When these workers return home, they take a good income with them and a different kind of wealth and drive. It is a win-win situation. For us, it means production can continue. Otherwise, the crops would remain in the field.

However, we have to smarten up. We have been saying for years that this is not working. Quebec has asked to have full management of this program to make it more efficient, so that only one level of government manages it. I think this is a good idea. I invite Parliament to consider this option very seriously. In the meantime, there are things that can be done, like improving processing times. Why does it take so long to renew a permit? When the same worker has been coming back for 12 years, why are all the security steps repeated? It is completely ridiculous and appallingly inefficient.

I am talking about agriculture because the debate is on a food day, but there is growing number of sectors that are using foreign workers, including the entire tourism sector. We need to facilitate these operations. We need to acknowledge the state of the employment market in Quebec and Canada, this shortage that is affecting us, and recognize that we need these people. Let us be effective. Let us welcome them. It is a win-win, as I was saying.

The second point I want to address is succession planning in agriculture. I look at the governing party across the way. The Speaker does not want me to address them directly, but I am looking at them and asking them when they will adjust Bill C‑208, which was democratically voted on in the last Parliament and crossed every stage, including the Senate.

Members know that the Senate is not my favourite institution, and the senators I know are also aware of that. However, it is part of the process. The bill was approved everywhere and it must be implemented. Officially, it has been, but the minister and the government have raised some uncertainty about the transfer of these family farms that is causing significant harm to our Quebec businesses.

I have said it many times here in the House: Financial advisors recommend that our farmers wait before transferring their family farm because they are concerned about the amendment that the Liberal government wants to make.

The new alliance is like a majority government. They can do anything. I am therefore asking them to shed some light on this so that we can see what is happening and where things are going. This bill was passed and no one should be preventing it from being implemented. Our next generation of farmers is important.

We spoke about our local production and feeding people. I would be remiss if I failed to mention supply management. Every time I rise, I have to mention it at least once, and I am going to talk about it again.

It is a great system that allows self-regulation within markets, and it costs nothing. These folks are not going to come up to us and ask for subsidies, because they are self-regulated and the system works perfectly. All the Canadian government has been doing for these people for the past ten years is hurting them by giving foreign countries access to these markets, which were working very well.

The principle behind supply management is about controlling the entry of goods. If the entry of goods is not controlled, it does not work. When nearly 20% of the market, for example in the dairy industry, comes from abroad, if our local producers reduce their production in a particular context, for example COVID-19, if foreign countries continue to bring in the 20%, then control no longer works. I will say it again today: We are dealing with a government that appears set on gradually eliminating this system because it does not have the courage to assume the political cost of making that decision.

We are hearing lofty words. The government says it will protect supply management, there is no problem and no more concessions will be made. If that is true, then the government can readily vote as it did the last time. I again congratulate the government and I invite it to start over. The last time, it voted in favour of our bill. If not for the unnecessary election in the midst of a pandemic, the law would probably be in effect already. Therefore, I am asking that we deal with this quickly, because it is an important sector.

The motion also mentions the environment. People increasingly want to eat healthy and organic products, but this does not exclude other products and other techniques. I believe that we must pay attention to our organic industry. Paying attention means continuing to identify foods that have been genetically modified, even with the new techniques.

As we know, there was a minor controversy recently. The Bloc Québécois does not oppose innovation, but is in favour of transparency. People must be able to choose what they eat and they need the relevant information when they eat something.

We are talking about local production, but of course we engage in international trade and will continue to do so. One thing we should do is implement reciprocal standards. Why do we allow products in if they do not meet the standards that apply to our own producers?

Something about that does not make sense. Why are we not making it possible for our consumers to know exactly what they are buying?

I challenge my colleagues to figure out where the chicken in the frozen chicken pot pie they buy at the grocery store tomorrow comes from. I challenge them to give it a try. It is not easy. Appropriate food origin labelling requires traceability. Some companies have come up with interesting innovations in that respect.

My colleague on the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is also working on this. These are great ideas.

I see that my time is up. I therefore invite all my colleagues to joyfully and happily pass this bill.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

5:25 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I would just like to thank my hon. colleague for raising the issue of supply management, which is very important to Nova Scotia producers. I invite my colleague to come and visit us any time.

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

5:25 p.m.


Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is such a pleasure to rise and speak to Bill S-227, a private member's bill to establish food day in Canada. I cannot think of another topic that brings us all together in the House and across the country more than the idea of food, particularly at this time of the evening, perhaps.

Reading through the bill, it is very simple, but it speaks, first of all, to the people who produce our food and to the farmers in our communities whose labour results in the foods we enjoy.

Thinking about that and about northwest B.C., this incredible region that I am so honoured to represent in this place, brings to mind for me the conversations and visits I have had with food producers over the past months and years, people like Lindsay and Janik at Robin Creek Dairy in the Bulkley Valley. They are a second-generation dairy-farming family, and they are finding a way to make that work for their family.

One of the things I noted at their farm was a robot in their barn that cleaned up cow manure. This is a quite a spectacular bit of technology. One would have to see it to believe it.

It is not just them, but also Daybreak Farms in Terrace. Kieran and her mom have taken over the operation of an egg farm that has been in that community for a long time. They have a plan for the modernization of their farm. It is important food security for a region that has only one commercial-scale egg producer. They produce about a million eggs per year, and they have a plan to expand that significantly.

I think of Ken Shaw. Ken is a college professor in Prince Rupert who also has an urban farm called Rainbow End Farm. Prince Rupert is a tough place for agriculture, but he is making it work in a corner of the city up against the rail tracks, growing vegetables and donating over a thousand dollars of produce a year to the local food bank.

I think of Farmer Cam. I cannot remember his last name, because everyone simply knows him as Farmer Cam. Farmer Cam's Foods is his little farming operation, growing vegetables on the bank of the Skeena River, just outside of Terrace.

All these people are part of the vibrant local foods sector in the northwest of British Columbia: so many growers, so many farms and so many people who are pouring their heart and their energy into this act of growing the food we all enjoy.

I also think of the people who transform these foods, these products, into incredible meals. I think of Dai Fukasaku in Prince Rupert, a chef I got to see the other day. Dai has created a renowned menu with local seafood caught in the waters just off Prince Rupert, some incredible meals that he is preparing and that are really putting his restaurant on the map.

I think of Chef Giulio, over in Daajing Giids, on Haida Gwaii. Chef Giulio, with his restaurant Gather, is combining his knowledge of traditional Italian cuisine with the wild foods and unique tastes of Haida Gwaii.

Finally, I think of Meg Roberts at Rustica Woodfired Bakery, just outside of Smithers, whose handcrafted sourdough and other baked products are looked forward to by everyone in that community. Meg has done an incredible job of not only providing her amazing baking but also fundraising for local initiatives, like the Cycle 16 bicycle trail between Telkwa and Smithers.

I think of all these people.

Looking at the bill and reading through it, it also speaks to this idea of farm to table. In northwest B.C., local food is about more than farm to table. It is about forest to table. It is about sea to table. It is about river to table.

What this bill brought to mind for me are some of the truly unique foods of the northwest, tastes that are found in few other places around the world. Our leader, the member for Burnaby South, was in Skeena—Bulkley Valley just two days ago. We had the opportunity to attend a traditional Wet'suwet'en bat'lats in Burns Lake, 400 people who came together to honour family members who passed a year ago.

At that feast, one of the foods that was served was niwus. Niwus is made from the soapberry, a tiny berry that grows in northern B.C. The Wet’suwet’en whip these berries with their hands and it froths up. It is hard to describe the texture of this food. It has an amazing taste. It is quite bitter. I am not sure if the member for Burnaby South will be eating much more of it in the future, but one never knows. This is one of the foods that is so special and comes from the region that I call home.

I am also reminded of some of the other wild foods I had a chance to eat, such as smoked sea lion or tibin, which is harvested by the Nisga'a people. It is a really unique food. I am thinking of Nicole Morven, who provided me a jar of canned tibin this past year, which I had a chance to enjoy. There is also eulachon or candlefish, these oily fish that are so special to the Nisga'a, the Tsimshian and the Haisla.

About a year ago, in February, I had an opportunity to get out on the Nass River with Gerry Robinson, Mansel and Curtis. We were sitting in the middle of the river in this little boat under a crystal-clear blue sky waiting for these tiny fish to fill a long net they had put out. It was a special experience. Of course, the eulachon are rendered down for their oil, their grease, which is such a valuable commodity among first nations in the northwest and up and down the B.C. coast.

I could go on and on to talk about sea urchin or spawn on kelp. The Tahlton elders have what I think might be one of the most unique delicacies in northern British Columbia, which is the part of the moose called bum guts. That is exactly what it sounds like. It is quite an interesting delicacy that I challenge members in this place to try it the next time they are in Tahlton country.

Talking about these foods that are so important to indigenous nations in northwest B.C., the idea that comes to mind, which I hear raised so many times by my neighbours, is one of indigenous food sovereignty, the idea that indigenous people should have the tools and the agency to protect, manage and harvest the foods that they rely on. This is a concept that is embedded in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Article 20 speaks to the right “to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence”.

On the topic of food sovereignty, I think of Jacob and Jessica on Tea Creek Farm in Kitwanga. This operation is doing such important work, not only growing local food but training local indigenous people in many of the skills around food production. In their first year of full-scale operation, they have trained over 84 local indigenous people and have been awarded for their work. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization named them 2022's Canada food heroes. They also won a Land Award from the Real Estate Foundation this past year.

These are all very important things to talk about with regard to local food and the things behind Canada food day. I must say that I have often been skeptical of bills that proclaim special days. I know many of them have been brought forward in this place and they have certainly raised very important issues, but when we talk about indigenous food sovereignty and local food production and when I listen to the messages that I am hearing from local food producers and indigenous leaders, I believe what they want more than anything for us to be doing in this place is passing bills that create real change for them, that support local food production with investments in infrastructure, and that support indigenous food sovereignty with legal changes that give indigenous nations more control over the resources and foods they require.

Should this bill pass, I hope that at least one day per year, and we need much more than that, we will have a chance to move forward those important initiatives.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

5:35 p.m.


Dave Epp Conservative Chatham-Kent—Leamington, ON

Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise to bring the voices from Chatham-Kent—Leamington to the chamber.

When I started farming professionally some three and a half decades ago, I am not sure if I would have personally supported a measure like the one we are debating today. I would have thought it unnecessary.

I live on a home farm, and I am a third-generation farmer. When my father began farming, everyone was either from the farm, had an uncle on the farm or had a personal farm connection. Today, it is much different.

We often hear of the 80-20 scenario, where 80% of a product or service is delivered by just 20% of a population, those who are providing that service. With food production, farming in particular, if we go back and look at census data, 2% of our Canadian population are farmers. Under the census, that means they produce more than 7,000 dollars' worth of farmed goods per year. In reality, half of 1% of our farmers produce 85% of the production grown on our farms.

If we look in the chamber, there are 338 members. With table officers and others, there are around 400 people on a full day. The means two people would be the represented population.

I do celebrate this day and the opportunity to speak because it provides us an opportunity to educate people and talk about local food. More importantly, we can talk about the whole food chain.

I want to credit Senator Black for his leadership in the Senate and my colleague from Perth—Wellington for shepherding it through this chamber. I also want to credit Anita Stewart from Wellington County who pioneered the first Food Day.

The member for Perth—Wellington said in his speech about a month ago, “Since that first Food Day in 2003, it has indeed grown into a wonderful celebration of the food our farmers grow and the food that all Canadians enjoy every single day, whether at their kitchen tables or at restaurant tables across the country.” I add my voice to that celebration and that encouragement of local production.

I live in a part of the world where we have access to fresh fruits and vegetables produced locally almost 10 months, or even more than 10 months, a year, depending on the vegetable, because of our innovative greenhouse sector.

Our roadside markets are plentiful, with direct lines from the producer to the consumer, which is great. However, for much of Canada, roadside markets are not accessible all year round, especially in the winter. We all know winter is coming.

Canada is a trading nation. We produce so many good foods, but our coffee production and our orange juice production is not top-notch. We do not have access to it and, as Canadians, we cannot eat all the wheat, canola or pork we produce. We are a trading nation. We rely on food chain systems, both here in Canada, for our own domestic production, be it at our kitchen tables or at restaurants, and with our international trade.

I wanted to say that to lead into three points today. The first is that this day offers us an opportunity to enhance food literacy to our general population. We rely on this agri-food value chain to feed us year-round, and because, as I shared earlier, such a small percentage of our population has a true connection to the farm, food literacy has dropped in Canada.

This gives us an opportunity to describe how complex our food system is. Given that it is so complex, and given the times we are in, food is becoming more expensive. September's food inflation rate, year over year, increased 11.4%, and that is growing. Here in Canada compared to much of the world, we are still lucky as Canadians.

In 2020, 11% of our disposable income was spent on food. In 2021, in calculations by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, it was 10.7%. They declare that day one day earlier, on February 8, 2022, when the average Canadian has spent their percentage of disposable income to purchase all the food they needed for the year. I suspect that will be much later in 2023. That is unfortunate for many low-income Canadians.

Why are food costs rising? I can share that the food inflation rate has certainly outstripped general inflation, and yes, the commodity markets are strong. A lot of crops that are negotiated in price relative to the strong commodity markets have also risen at the farm gate. The costs to our farmers have outstripped the prices they have received at the field.

Fertilizer tariffs and shipping costs have sky rocketed. There is an exemption for on-farm gas and diesel, but there is the carbon tax and everything else. There is carbon tax when it is shipped to the farm and on the barns being heated, and the grain is still being dried this year.

I would implore this House to pass Bill C-234. I had the opportunity to speak to it earlier.

Make no mistake. Farmers are conservationists. The fact they need an exemption so they can compete with the rest of the world and reduce the cost of producing food is not a reflection of their ability as conservationists. I could spend a whole 10 minutes just talking about the advances that our farm community has made on that.

I want to touch on another cost driver, labour, which is affecting every sector of our economy. I hear that from our farm community. I want to celebrate the fact that Canada has a temporary foreign worker program. It is critical to so much of our farming sector and is also of great benefit to the host nations from where many of these valuable workers have come. It is one of our best foreign aid mechanisms, and many parts of the world are jealous of this opportunity. Again, I could spend 10 minutes just on that.

Another cost driver is obviously the borrowing costs to finance assets and the growing cost of crops, which is another thing our farmers are facing.

Farmers are often called the first step in our food value chain. This leads me to the third and final point that I wish to make today.

We often hear our food system being described as field to fork, but that is a bit of a misnomer. Farmers are not the first step in our food chain. I note that the bill's title refers to establishing a national food day, not a national farming day. I think it is rightfully titled. As farmers, we have so many suppliers that supply us with our crop inputs and everything from steel to bearings to financing. We are not the first step. I want to acknowledge that. In this food value chain we have in Canada, and actually much of the world, food manufacturers and processors are next, and then it is on to food distribution, whether it be the retail or the food service mechanisms.

We hear two statements being bandied about, “record retailer profits” and “retailer margins are not changing much in percentage terms”, throughout the pandemic. Both those things have been in the news recently. Both of these statements can be true at the same time. Because the pandemic has shifted, somehow much of the food supply has come to our bodies more through home cooking and the grocery retail chains. The volumes being sold through retail have increased and food service has diminished. With increased volumes, even though the margins of our retailers have remained roughly steady within a certain range, between 2% and 4%, the profits have actually increased. Today we are in a state in Canada where we have an opportunity to address some of these mechanisms in our food value chain if we get it right.

What I am talking about is a grocery code of conduct. I had two excellent meetings last week with Restaurants Canada and Food and Beverage Canada. They mentioned labour availability as being their number one issue and talked about the temporary foreign worker program, but that is not where I want to go. Restaurants are telling me the very same things our farmers are experiencing. We have all gone out and noticed that the cost of restaurant meals has also climbed, but their margins are also shrinking because of the cost structures they are experiencing.

A grocery code of conduct actually gives us the opportunity to address some of the behaviours in the food chain, the fines, levies, listing fees, and the like, all those mechanisms that the value of our food production is being transferred from the food processors and manufacturers to the retailers. Manufacturers are spending on administrative costs and keeping an eye on that. Food retailers are spending on administrative costs in that mechanism.

The United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia have all gone down the road of a grocery code of conduct and have actually experienced greater profits throughout the transmission chain of food, the value chain. Most importantly, food costs for consumers have relatively dropped because costs have been stripped out of that system. That is the big point I want to make. Canada has an opportunity to get that right. I want to mention the 10,000 independent grocers across this country that are very critical to our rural fabric.

I know my time is quickly running out. I want to thank the sponsor of this bill.

I would just note that we have inflationary pressures driving up costs. We have an opportunity through a grocer code of conduct to address these inflationary costs.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

Vimy Québec


Annie Koutrakis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be here today to support Bill S‑227, an act to establish food day in Canada.

Food day in Canada will be the perfect opportunity for Canadians to celebrate our country's outstanding agriculture and agri-food sector. We can thank all those who work hard, from farm to table, to feed Canadians and the world's growing population.

We cannot talk about a food day in Canada without recognizing Dr. Anita Stewart, a trailblazer and true champion for farmers and local food, who passed away in 2020. Anita pioneered the idea to set aside a day each year, dedicated to Canadian food and those who produce it. She was inspired to take action when our farmers and ranchers faced the challenges of the BSE crisis, so she launched the tradition of the world's largest barbecue, for Canadians across the country to show their support.

Anita's mantra was, “Canada is food, and the world is richer for it.” That is so true. The sector contributes immensely to our economic, social, health and environmental well-being. It provides one in nine jobs and contributes over $143 billion to our gross domestic product. It also promotes food security at home and abroad.

We certainly saw this as we all navigated the stressors and worries of the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers, ranchers and food processors stepped up, making sure our food supply stayed strong and steady in the face of their own challenges, such as labour shortages and transportation interruptions. A national day dedicated to Canadian food is also a good time to reflect on ways we can help Canadians who do not get the food and nutrition they need for themselves and their families, and to take action on other issues as well, like food waste and its impacts on the environment.

Food is a basic need for us all in order to survive and thrive. It brings us sustenance, it is a way to show our love for each other, and it is an expression of creativity and our diverse cultures.

Canada's food system is strong, and growing in exciting ways, but it is not perfect. In Canada and around the world, the COVID‑19 pandemic, climate-related disasters and Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine have exposed the most vulnerable parts of our global food system, highlighting the areas in which there is the most need for improvement.

Many families do not have enough food or are eating unhealthy food because they cannot pay for food. Northern and indigenous communities in Canada, particularly remote ones, are especially vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.

We also face the challenge of food waste. Every day, perfectly good food gets wasted and ends up in our landfills. This waste produces methane gas and generates a staggering 8% of all greenhouse gases emitted in the world.

The Government of Canada launched the “Food Policy for Canada” in 2019, with this vision for the future of food in Canada:

All people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food. Canada's food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy.

Through the food policy, the government is investing $60 million in the local food infrastructure fund, which supports community-based initiatives that increase access to food, and provide social, health, environmental, and economic benefits in communities across the country.

This fund is helping hundreds of local food organizations across Canada access the tools they need to strengthen their local food systems and improve accessibility to healthy food.

Some are purchasing new refrigerated trucks. Others are planting community gardens and installing solar panels. We have also delivered the $330-million emergency food security fund to support people experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this funding has supported more than 7,800 projects across Canada, 1,800 of which are directly supporting indigenous communities.

As I touched on a few moments ago, food waste is a big problem in Canada and around the world.

Two years ago, the government launched the food waste reduction challenge, under the food policy for Canada, to fuel new ideas and creative solutions. The challenge invites innovators to submit solutions to prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate.

Canada's food supply chain can take action on food waste by improving inventory management and exploring new uses for food waste such as animal feed, biofuels and new products.

The response has been outstanding. Since we launched the challenge in 2020, we received well over 500 amazing ideas to prevent, divert and transform food waste. It is no surprise that Canada is a leader in innovation. In every corner of our agriculture and food industry, we have farmers and entrepreneurs who are making a difference and helping shape a healthier future for families and communities here at home and around the world.

Globally, Canada participated in the United Nations Food Systems Summit, convened by the UN Secretary-General in September 2021.

The summit's vision is to launch bold new actions, solutions, and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 sustainable development goals, each of which relies on healthier, more sustainable and more equitable food systems.

This vision supports the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, to meet the challenges of poverty, hunger and food insecurity, malnutrition, population growth, climate change, and natural resource degradation.

As we look forward to this exciting and beautiful new tradition of food day in Canada, inspired by the vision and hard work of Dr. Anita Stewart, let us continue to buy, cook and eat Canadian products.

Let us take part in celebrations, enjoy locally made food and try new recipes using Canadian-grown ingredients. Let us seek out exciting cuisines from indigenous farmers and chefs, and from the so many diverse cultures that make up this great country. Let us recognize those behind the scenes, our farmers and our food entrepreneurs, who are working hard and putting forth their best ideas to solve some of the world's most pressing food security and environmental challenges.

We will all raise a fork to food day in Canada.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

5:55 p.m.


Caroline Desbiens Bloc Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak today, and I would like to say at the outset that the Bloc Québécois is in favour of this bill for several reasons. Obviously, designating the first Monday in August as food day in Canada is a good idea because, at that time, farmers will have just finished haying and the potato harvest is beginning. Thus, it is a very good time to have it. It is also an opportunity to address concerns that are often ignored, which is why such a day is so important.

As a society, we make the mistake of taking the agri-food and agricultural sectors in Quebec and Canada for granted. It would be a good idea to promote them more, to celebrate local food and local cuisine. The country is celebrated first and foremost around the table. It is the same all over the country, so this is a great opportunity to highlight that aspect of our happiness on this land.

Obviously, the pandemic has opened our eyes to serious problems with our food sovereignty, for example in our production chains. As a result, we have discovered that we are highly and seriously dependent on foreign countries for many aspects of our industries.

At the Bloc Québécois, obviously the agriculture and agri-food sector has always been a priority. In Quebec, we are constantly investing in food sovereignty, including by promoting our supply management system and ensuring it is protected. It is an indispensable tool for balancing our agri-food market and a system that is used as a model in several countries around the world. Canada may once again benefit from referring to Quebec on the matter. I do not mean that as a boast; well, maybe a little bit.

There are several ways to go about promoting food sovereignty in Quebec and Canada when it comes to agri-food. First, we need to secure our food chains by changing course with the temporary foreign workers program, for example. We need to make it easier for workers to access our lands. We could promote succession planning in agriculture, for example, by bringing into force Bill C‑208 on taxing the intergenerational transfer of businesses because it is much easier for a farmer to sell to a stranger than to hand over his business to his own son, which is not right. The son invests in his parents' farm his whole life, but they are unable to hand it over because the way the taxation is done does not favour that. We need to help producers and processors innovate and become resilient to climate change. We need to protect critical resources and agriculture and processing facilities from foreign investments, including under the Investment Canada Act. We need to promote human-scale farms by encouraging buying organic and buying local.

I would like to take this opportunity to salute my riding's diverse and exciting agri-food industry, which produces berries, potatoes, ice cider, wine, beer, mouth-watering cheeses and organic pork and poultry on farms all over Île d'Orléans and along the Côte‑de‑Beaupré. Throughout my riding, from Beauport to Baie‑Sainte‑Catherine, our producers' reputation is well established. I could talk about them all afternoon. It would make my colleagues hungry. It is suppertime, after all.

Now I want to talk about an equally important aspect of the agri-food landscape: seafood. Surprisingly, it is easier to buy Quebec's products in the United States or in Europe than in Quebec. Are my colleagues aware that people in Quebec and Canada consume just over 10% of the seafood our fishers harvest and that 90% of the seafood Quebeckers and Canadians consume comes from other countries?

That is appalling. As if that were not bad enough, the food safety and traceability standards that apply to fishers in Quebec and Canada, who export 90% of our resource to Europe and the United States, are significantly higher than those that apply to the imported products that make up 90% of the seafood we eat. We ship our high-quality products out, and then we eat lower-quality things from other countries. That is appalling; it makes my skin crawl.

Simply put, the quality of the food we eat in Canada is not as good as the food we export and that we supply to the international market. Quebeckers and Canadians deserve better.

Following a motion that I moved for that purpose, my fine colleagues on the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, whom I thank for their valuable contributions, and I began a study on labelling and traceability. Many observations were made, some of which were worrisome, others alarming, and still others encouraging. Many solutions, approaches and suggestions were also proposed. All of this resulted in the tabling in the House in June of a report entitled “Traceability and Labelling of Fish and Seafood Products”. The government must urgently implement the committee's 13 recommendations and take real action, not just say that it has taken note of these recommendations, but actually take action.

If we want to know what we are eating and where it came from, we need better labelling and better traceability, from farm to plate for agriculture and also from boat to plate for the fisheries.

Our local products deserve to be in the spotlight. If a chef describes a menu item as “St. Lawrence halibut stuffed with northern deepwater prawns from Matane, Quebec black garlic butter and medley of local Charlevoix vegetables”, people go crazy for it. If it is described as just “shrimp-stuffed halibut”, it is not as popular. That is why it is important to promote our local products and to make them available. I think that is crucial.

When people go to restaurants, they want to eat local, they want to taste locally caught fish. When we eat foods from Quebec and Canada, we appreciate our artisans' and our experts' skill. It sustains us to take pride in discovering the quality of the homegrown products available to us and the often distinctive and exemplary practices of our food producers. We know it will be fresh. We know it is from here. We know minimal food miles mean less pollution. We know our money stays here and helps our own fishers and farmers, who, in turn, spend that money here. Buying local is all about the circular economy, and it is good for everyone. It tastes good, and it is good for society, too.

I also want to talk about by-catch. I had a jarring experience that made no sense in terms food sovereignty, and I have yet to recover from it. Fishermen have permits to fish for shrimp, for example. If they catch some halibut, redfish or squid, they are forced to take the dead fish and throw it overboard, because their permit is for shrimp. It is terrible.

In the Gaspé, if someone wants to have some fresh, local fish, they are told it is impossible. The fish they are serving comes from Norway and the shrimp comes from China. I still cannot believe it. I want the House to be aware of this very important aspect. Perhaps permits could be expanded and made more flexible, so that fishermen with by-catch could redistribute it in the area.

The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has done a lot of studies. We are completing a study on the right whale and are starting to realize that the expertise and knowledge of our fishers are not always truly taken into consideration. They are not always closely listened to, and yet they have concrete solutions to better understand the right whale.

In closing, everyone has to eat, so we might as well do so responsibly, taking into account our environmental footprint and the social and economic impacts of our choices.

Let us be proud of our local products, our producers, farmers, fishers and food artisans. Let us promote their products, within a balance of supply and demand, before opening up to foreign markets, which are necessary, of course, although they must not control our own supply or affect our market prices, since that would have a serious impact on our food sovereignty.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.


Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Madam Speaker, I count it an honour to stand in support of Bill S-227, an act to establish food day in Canada.

With everything going on in our world, one thing that I think we all recognize, collectively, or at least should, is the absolutely critical importance of food security and energy security, which go hand in hand. For any nation to have stability over the long haul, to be a beacon of safety and a haven of hope for many, as Canada is, it has to have tremendous potential for ongoing and lasting energy security and food security.

Tonight my remarks will be more focused on the food security aspect as it relates to this bill. I think it is wonderful that we have set apart a day and some time to reflect and highlight the importance of food and food security, and what it brings to our country and to the world.

Food security and the importance of food and proper nutrition is critical for our world. In fact, it has been reported of late that, any time the overall calorie intake of individuals drops below 1,800 on a national level, it could lead to civil unrest. In the spring, we saw echos of that in Sri Lanka, and we are seeing it increasingly around the world.

We must get the food security question right. We must have the answer for that. I believe Canada is extremely well positioned to help answer the world's cry for safe, secure, nutritious and beneficial food and nutrition. We have got to get more Canadian goods to the world. We have to do that by making sure that the environment here in Canada is one that accentuates the opportunities for Canada's growers, producers and harvesters. I would add, it is not just the farmers we want to remember. Obviously, they are going to be the overwhelming lion's share of our focus, but it is also the fish harvesters on the coasts of Canada and throughout our country who help provide protein resources and fresh fish products to the world and here at home.

We must make sure that food security, those who produce our food and those who harvest our food are considered in our policy directives and in the deliberations of the House, and that we make sure that, any time we are looking at enacting new policies or regulations, the voices of those who literally grow our food, keep our land and harvest our food, are heard and are respected. We must make sure that there is proper consultation with those who are closest to our food production in this country, namely our farmers, growers and fish harvesters.

This day would provide all of Canada an opportunity to reflect. It would provide all of Canada an opportunity to say thanks for their ability to grow food, thanks to the producers for making it possible for us to eat on a regular basis, and to have good, pure, nutritious food grown right here in Canada. That day being set aside for Canadians to reflect is helpful, good and beneficial.

More so than just a day being set aside, what we need is a government in Canada that prioritizes those who actually grow and produce our food, making sure their concerns are being heard in this, the people's House, the people's chamber. I am blessed to come from an agricultural riding. I am very proud of Tobique—Mactaquac and the region I represent. I have a lot of farming country. We are known for our potatoes. We are known for a lot of great things. We have fruit growers and vegetable growers. We have people who grow grain products. We have so many who contribute to Canada's agriculture.

Products from our riding go literally all around the world. For that, I am so thankful for the farmers and producers in my region of Tobique—Mactaquac, who help feed not only the folks in New Brunswick and across Canada but also folks around the world.

I will close with this, and I can never adequately do justice to this man and his voice. However, members will remember the legendary Paul Harvey who is known for The Rest Of The Story. I cannot speak like he does nor with the eloquence, but I hope members will indulge me to briefly highlight some of the speech that made him famous. All of us will remember it. It even made a Super Bowl ad.

It reads:

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker”. So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry....” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.

I thank God for the farmers.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

6:10 p.m.


John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, it is indeed an honour to conclude the debate at second reading of Bill S-227.

The story of food day in Canada did not start in the House and it did not start in the other place where it was first introduced. The story of food day in Canada started in the dark days of the summer of 2003 when the agriculture industry, the beef industry in particular, was wreaked with havoc due to the BSE crisis.

In those dark days of the agriculture industry in 2003, one person stood up and said, “Let's do something positive.” That one person was Anita Stewart. She celebrated the first food day in Canada back in 2003, and Bill S-227 now honours that legacy, commends the resiliency of Canadian farmers and celebrates everyone who contributes to the world-class agriculture and agri-food system in Canada.

I want to thank the members who have spoken in favour of this bill during this debate, including the members for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, Chatham-Kent—Leamington, Tobique—Mactaquac, Berthier—Maskinongé, Skeena—Bulkley Valley, Vimy and Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix.

I want to especially thank Senator Rob Black for introducing this bill in the other place and the members for Wellington—Halton Hills and Guelph who also gave passionate speeches in this place about the history of food day in Canada, Wellington County's Anita Stewart and her lifetime of work to promote Canadian food. I know that her sons, Jeff, Mark, Brad and Paul, would be grateful to see their late mother recognized in such a way.

I am pleased to know that Bill S-227 has the support of so many members in the House, perhaps even unanimously, and I look forward to seeing this bill passed at second reading. I also hope members on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food will find a way to ensure that the bill passes with all haste when it comes to committee.

As I mentioned in the House, food day in Canada has been informally recognized in Wellington County, in some rural communities and in some large cities across Canada for nearly 20 years. We now have the chance and the opportunity to pass Bill S-227 in the House and formally recognize food day in Canada across Canada.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

6:10 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.


John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.

Food Day in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Pursuant to an order made on Thursday, June 23, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, November 2, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

TaxationAdjournment Proceedings

6:15 p.m.


Kevin Vuong Independent Spadina—Fort York, ON

Madam Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to further debate the government's second carbon tax: the clean fuel standard. As I alluded to in my initial question, it would be unconscionable for the government to proceed with introducing a second carbon tax, one with limited efficacy, at a time when Canadians are facing incredible financial hardship. This is no game. It is very real.

I ask the hon. member to pretend for a moment to be a pensioner living in Atlantic Canada where most people use oil to heat their homes. This new tax will further increase the cost during a long, cold winter.

Perhaps my colleague could imagine being part of a family of four in downtown Toronto as they dread the weekly trip to the grocery store. Food inflation is at 11.4%. It is the highest in 40 years. Half of Canadians, me included, have only ever known this to be the highest in their lifetime. People are struggling to put food on the table and some are going without a meal. Canadians also worry about being able to make their rent payment or their monthly mortgage payment.

Can the hon. member please explain why the government would want to proceed with a second carbon tax that will increase household energy costs by up to 6.5%? That is an additional annual cost of $1,277.

TaxationAdjournment Proceedings

6:15 p.m.

Milton Ontario


Adam van Koeverden LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport

Madam Speaker, it is a real privilege to stand in the House tonight to address concerns from my colleague.

I remember back to about a year ago when the member ran for the Liberal Party and I knocked on doors with him. He ran on a commitment to price carbon, and it was welcomed at the doors, as it is welcomed across our country. Canadians know that pollution should not be free. Canadians know that things like cap and trade, a price on pollution and, indeed, carbon pricing are a necessary foundation in a proper environmental platform.

At the time, the member was also proud of that platform, so I am not sure where he is going with this, but I am indeed really proud of the fact that for seven years now, our government has been putting forward real solutions and measures to help middle-class Canadians and those who have worked so hard to join them.

We have introduced and implemented measures that have helped grow the economy. We have created jobs and we have created a fair and more level playing field for Canadians across the country. We understand that rising prices, which we are seeing around the world, are also affecting Canadians across the country. However, high inflation is a global phenomenon. It is not limited to us here in Canada. It is mostly caused by the war in Ukraine and various other supply chain disruptions.

While it is not a made-in-Canada problem, we have a made-in-Canada solution to help those who need it the most. For example, now that Bill C-30 has received royal assent, individuals and families receiving the GST credit will receive an additional $2.5 billion in support. Over 11 million households will receive a doubling of that GST credit in the coming weeks. Actually, I believe it is this Friday.

Also, with Bill C-31 we are proposing to create a Canada dental benefit for children under 12, which will deliver $1,300 over the next few years in supports so that families can pay for their kids to go and see a dentist. The bill also proposes a one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit program, which already provides up to $2,500 to Canada's most vulnerable and lowest-income families who are renting. This will increase it by $500 and put that in the pockets of nearly two million renters who are struggling to pay their rent.

The member for Spadina—Fort York can certainly recognize the impacts these measures will have for Canadians in his riding. Many of them are indeed struggling to make ends meet, and these measures will help.

Later this week, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance will release the fall economic statement, which will lay out some of the steps our government will take toward a brighter future for our country.

When it comes to the clean fuel regulations and pollution pricing, I would remind my colleague of the importance of continuing to work on the green transition while doing everything we can to make life more affordable in this country.

I spent some considerable time in the riding of my colleague. The fact is, his constituents are concerned about the impacts of climate change. His constituents were disappointed when Premier Doug Ford cancelled cap and trade, and his constituents were relieved when the federal government stepped in with supports.

I just got off the phone with a constituent who had valid questions about the price on pollution. As I explained it to him, this is a backstop program for provinces that do not have a plan to fight climate change. Previous to this, the province of Ontario had a $3-billion program. That was a revenue program for the province, called cap and trade, and unfortunately Doug Ford scrapped it. That is illegal. Every province and territory is bound by law to have a plan to fight climate change and to price pollution accordingly. The simple truth is that climate action is no longer a theoretical political debate. It is an economic necessity. Our government has a plan that will save the planet. It will create growth and make life more affordable all at the same time. We will continue to move forward with that plan.

In conclusion, I would say that every single member, all 338 in the House, ran on a commitment to price carbon in the last election. There were a couple of versions of it, but it was a unanimous position—

TaxationAdjournment Proceedings

6:20 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

The hon. member for Spadina—Fort York.

TaxationAdjournment Proceedings

6:20 p.m.


Kevin Vuong Independent Spadina—Fort York, ON

Madam Speaker, what my colleague did not read from the government talking points is direct research that analyzes the impact of the clean fuel standard. This research by Professor Ross McKitrick found that the net international effect of this is likely to be an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

I want to ask my hon. colleague, who appears to be just as oblivious as the government to the harsh realities facing so many Canadians, if it would be possible to at least delay the implementation of the second carbon tax by six months. This is not a political thing; it is the right thing to do for Canadians who are struggling.